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I take a lot of pictures on InstaGram and each time I found myself putting a filter on my pictures that makes my skin appear lighter.
Ever since I was young I’ve been uncomfortable about my skin color. My best friend is African American just like me, but the difference is… she’s light skinned. I used to be jealous that she never had to worry about the insecurities of being “too dark.”
One day she said, “Joi, if you don’t love the skin that you’re in, who else will?” I thought, “I do love my skin. But what am I supposed to do when my color isn’t the latest trend in the images I see in television ads and social media?”
I always thought the hair dye product “Dark and Lovely” was intended to make me proud to be African American. But the skin color of the models is always Caramel or lighter. There’s no “me” in those commercials, which makes me feel inadequate.
Over the years I’ve started to ignore these advertisements and listen instead to my best friend, who told me that being confident is the most attractive trait that a person can have.